Tyson Foods teamed up with Protix To create Insect Protein for Animals, not for human consumption!

Consumer Safety Fact Check Misleading

Social media users often engage in discussions on topics related to a wide array of food items, flavors, and ingredients, contributing to a vibrant online food culture. However, amidst these conversations, there’s a concerning trend of spreading misleading information about food production companies. 

This misinformation can create misconceptions about product quality, safety, and sustainability, potentially impacting consumer trust and choices. It underscores the importance of critical thinking and fact-checking in navigating the information available online, especially concerning matters such as food production and consumption.

Social Media Posts 

Social media posts suggest that Tyson Foods and Protix have teamed up to introduce insects into processed foods for human consumption, expanding opportunities for insect-based ingredients in the food industry.

A screenshot of a social media post

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FB | Archived FB

We decided to do a fact-check on this. 

Fact Check 

We first looked at the reports related to the said partnership between Tyson Foods and Protix.

Tyson Foods and Protix Partnership: Tyson Foods had indeed announced a partnership with Protix. However, this collaboration is primarily to produce food made from insects for animals, not for human consumption. More on this here & here. The news about this merger was published back in October 2023.

A spokesperson for Tyson Foods has clarified that the products resulting from this partnership will be used as sustainable ingredients in premium pet food and as protein alternatives for aquatic organisms such as salmon and shrimp.  The related Verify fact check article can be read here

Joint Press Release: A joint press release from Tyson Foods and Protix confirms that the partnership aims to construct an insect ingredient facility in the U.S. that will create “high-quality insect proteins and lipids which will primarily be used in the pet food, aquaculture, and livestock industries.” The facility will facilitate the breeding, incubating, and hatching of insect larvae for these specific purposes.

Product Offerings: Protix is a company that specializes in producing sustainable insect-based ingredients for animal feed, pet food, and plant nutrition. Protix provides insect-based protein meal, insect oil, and insect-based puree primarily intended for pet food and animal feed. 

Similarly, headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, in the United States, Tyson Foods is one of the largest producers of chicken, beef, and pork products in the USA and has a significant presence in the global market. And their website never mentions anything about selling insects or insect-containing products for human consumption.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Guidelines: The FAO acknowledges the potential use of insects as a sustainable protein source, especially for animal feed. While insects can supplement traditional animal feed sources, the FAO does not endorse their widespread inclusion in human food products without proper regulatory oversight and safety assessments. Details can be read here

Furthermore, Alexandra Kazaks, Ph.D., RDN, a member of the Institute of Food Technologists Nutrition Division, also states in this podcast that the nutritional benefits of insects in food might soon make science fiction a reality in the U.S. Another podcast on the same topics exploring the nutritional value of insect-based products is discussed in this podcast.

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Conclusion:

While Tyson Foods’ partnership with Protix involves producing insect-based food products, these are intended for animal consumption and not for humans. Contrary to social media claims, there is no indication that Tyson Foods and Protix are collaborating to introduce insects into processed foods meant for human consumption. However, it’s worth noting that edible insects can be a sustainable protein source for humans when adequately prepared and regulated.

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Title:Tyson Foods teamed up with Protix To create Insect Protein for Animals, not for human consumption!

Fact Check By: Fact Crescendo Team 

Result: Misleading

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